Pro-life Democrats: Oxymorons?

Picking up on the post below, there is a very good piece today on The New Republic site about the Dems platform battle over abortion language, and the efforts of Democrats for Life, a small organization (need it be said?) founded in 1999 with chapters in over 40 states. It isled by Kristen Day. The piece is called "Life Support? Inside the battle over abortion's place in the Democratic platform." Here's a sense of it:

Unlike many other pro-life activists, Democrats for Life deemphasizes Roe v. Wade. A repeal "wouldn't really do a whole lot" to reduce abortion, Day told me. The group decided to ignore Roe altogether in their platform proposal, assuming the party would support the case no matter what. Instead, they chose to focus on promoting an abortion reduction plank. "Once Roe is in [our proposal]," said Lee, "they just stop listening to us."

(snip) it makes gains in more conservative districts, the Democratic Party is increasingly welcoming of pro-life candidates. Two of its most recent electoral successes--special election victories by Travis Childers in Mississippi and Don Cazayoux in Louisiana--were pro-life campaigns. And in the last few years, a flurry of Democratic-sponsored abortion reduction measures have been proposed in Congress, such as the "Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act" and the "Pregnant Women Support Act."

But when it comes to the platform, pro-life Democrats face strong resistance from other corners of the party. "These kind of efforts are perennial," says Ramona Oliver, communications director for Emily's List. "They're based on the assumption that Democrats' position isn't in the mainstream, and that's just wrong. They've not succeeded in curtailing Democrats' principles, and I don't think they will in the future."

But Day and the rest wind up saying they are committed to their goals. Thoughts?

David Gibson is the director of Fordham’s Center on Religion & Culture.

Please email comments to [email protected] and join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Must Reads